Women at Work: The Devout Woman

Mary was listening to the Lord’s word, seated at His feet…Martha was distracted with all her preparations… Luke 10:39b, 40a(NASV)

The Christian life is a life of faith expressed in works. Faith needs feeding and works need doing. But so often we find ourselves very busy with works and neglect to feed our faith by listening to our Lord in His Word. This was the problem in Martha and Mary’s home too.

Both women loved Jesus deeply and their love found expression in service. Our passage seems to indicate that Mary had been helping Martha but she left her work to sit at Jesus’ feet. Martha complained of her to Jesus and Jesus responded. He did not chide her for serving. He chided her for being so distracted with serving that she neglected the “good part,” listening to her Lord. G.C. Morgan points out that Martha’s emphasis was on being a “host.” Mary’s emphasis was on being a “guest” of Jesus. Both are necessary.

As Christians we are to be hosts. We are to minister to the physical needs of others in the name of Christ but never at the expense of being a “guest” of Jesus Christ by feeding on His Word.

If we are too busy serving that we neglect daily prayer and meditation, regular church attendance, Bible study and discussion groups and devotional reading, we are too busy. Our Lord instructs us to set our priorities straight. Be a “guest” of the Lord Jesus.